Indian Mythology | Assiniboin Mythology

More Trickster Myths



Inkton'mi traveled along the Old-Man River. He used to play with stones, which he piled up in large heaps. When he sat down on a rock, a mark was made by his buttocks, and when he lay down prone with his arms before his face a mark was made by his arms and legs. The impress of his body is still visible on the rocks.


It was near Porcupine Hill and Old-Man River that women were first found. The men were living in a valley by themselves, and all the women were living on the other side of the mountains. Both constructed buffalo pounds. Once a man and a woman, both driving buffalo, met for the first time. "Quid istud?" vir interrogavit. "Hic quidem cunnus est; quid istud?" "Mentula" respondit. "Cui bono?" "Ad copulandum."

Coire conati sunt, mulieri melli erat. "I'll take you home," she said, "there are many women there." She took the man to her camp. When he had returned to his own home, he told the men that he had found many women and had enjoyed cohabitation. The next morning the men followed him, Soinkton'mi among them. All the women were drawn up in a line, and so were the men. Then the chieftainess said, "I am going to select the man I like best." She chose Soinkton'mi, seizing his hand, but he refused to go with her. Then she ordered the other women not to choose Soinkton'mi. All the women selected husbands, but Soinkton'mi remained single. Soinkton'mi walked away singing. He got to a hill and slid down, leaving the impress of his buttocks and testes. The marks are still visible.


Once Inkton'mi was walking along the edge of a big lake. He wanted to cross to the other side, but could not swim over. He was thinking of how he might get over, when he noticed a young man paddling a canoe. When he had got close, Inkton'mi hailed him and asked where he was going. "I am shooting ducks." "Very well," said Inkton'mi, "I'll paddle your canoe, while you are shooting." The youth consented, and they proceeded together. Inkton'mi, after a while, said, "Brother, let me go across, while you are plucking the ducks." So he paddled across, tied the canoe, and climbed up a hill, from which he beheld a circle of forty lodges with one in the center. Approaching, he found a girl on the outskirts. "Are there any men here?" "We don't know what men are." "Who lives in the center of the circle?" "Two chieftainesses, who look after us. Go to them, they are our leaders." He entered the lodge and found some small swings inside. On the right side there was a young fox strapped to a papoose-board, and on the left there was a rabbit. The rabbit jumped up, and counted coup on Inkton'mi, which meant that he would belong to the chieftainess that was the rabbit's mother. So the rabbit-woman sat by Inkton'mi and handed him a bowl of pemmican, which he ate. When through eating, he returned the bowl, and asked, "What are these two here for?" "These are our children." "Are there any men here?" "No, we don't know what men are." The lodge was beautifully decorated with quill work; there were all kinds of work-bags inside. Inkton'mi thought, "I am going to show them something." Sublata veste mentulam erectam eis demonstravit. The rabbit's mother first noticed it, and stooped down to look at it more closely. The other chieftainness also looked down. "Istud quid est, cui bono?" "Ad copulandum." "Qua in parte corporis coire oportet?" "Prope accedite, et vobis demonstrabo." Sublatis vestibus, earum cunnos indicavit. "In hunc locum si penem inseram, vobis dulce erit." Una in terram deposita, cum ea copulavit, tantamque ex eo delecta-tionem cepit ut iterum fieri vellet. Tum altera, "Ego quoque" inquit "discere volo." Dum cum hac muliere coit, leporis mater mulieres omnes certiores fecit, et omnes quid esset coitus scire voluerunt. Cum eis invicem coiit donec penis defatigatus est. Multae tamen virgines remanebant quae coire vellent. Ille effugere voluit. "Post coitum vos. gravidae eritis, in-fantes parietis, qui ex hoc orificio proficiscentur." Credere noluerunt. "Infantes" ait "mares et muliebres parietis. Mares sunt qui cum hac re pendula nascantur." I mktoi'mi qui effugere voluit, "Mingere" ait "volo et cacare. Vos me mingentem adspicere non oportet." Tamen mulieres eum retinere voluerunt ut non effugiat. "Alae mihi absunt, non effugere possum, in hunc collem mincturus eo." He went away. When he got to the hill, he made a dash for the canoe. One woman saw him fleeing and gave the alarm. All rushed after him, but he had the start and reached the canoe. In vain the women tried to swim after him. When he got to his companion, he said, "Well, brother, let us go on, I found nothing there but rocks." The women followed along the shore until the men became invisible.


In the fall the geese were flying. Inkton'mi said, "I should like to fly with you." The geese said, "Flying is difficult." "I don't care, I wish to fly." Then eight of the geese took him up and began to fly, supporting him. Inkton'mi said, "We are having a good time." The geese knew what a trickster Inkton'mi was. When they caught sight of a mud-hole, they dropped Inkton'mi into it, and flew away. For several days Inkton'mi stuck in the mud up to his waist.


Soinkton'mi said, "I am lonesome, let me travel with you, Eagle." Eagle agreed. They flew up towards the sky, but there Eagle left him alone on an icy mountain in the clouds. Soinkton'mi begged to be taken down, but Eagle paid no attention to him. At last the ice began to melt. Soinkton'mi said, "I shall strike the earth in a soft spot." He fell head foremost into a swamp, where he stuck fast up to his hips.

He began to plot against Eagle. He said to all the animals, "I shall turn myself into a moose. After that, don't eat fat from my hips."8.2 When Eagle flew down, he wanted to eat some of the forbidden food, but he saw Soinkton'mis eyes move, and drew back. At last he took a bite, then he ate more. Soinkton'mi said, "I wished to be revenged on you, because you, abandoned me on the mountain." He arose, but Eagle perished.

The color of the eagle's head is due to his rubbing it against Soinkton'mi's anus.


In the fall Soinkton'mi was traveling by a big lake. He heard geese making a noise near-by. Holding his hands before his face, he began to cry. The geese asked, "Why are you crying?" "I should like to fly home with you, because I hear you sing and laugh so much." They replied, "When the Indians shoot at us, we have a hard time of it." Still Soinkton'mi persisted, and at last the geese consented to take him up. They started to fly. When they came near the Indians, the people cried, "That big goose is Soinkton'mi." They began to shoot at the birds. All the geese scattered, dropping Soinkton'mi. While falling, he said, "I wish to land in a soft spot." He fell head over heels into a mud-hole, so that only his anus was visible.

The mice saw it and said, "This looks like Sitconiski's anus." They informed the people. When they looked at it, they also said it looked like Sitcon'ski's anus. Then the mice attempted to crawl in, but Soinkton'mi shook them off. Then they said, "It is surely his."


When Inkton'mi had finally got out of the mud-hole, he sat down on a stone. He began talking to the rock. The rock asked him for a gift, which he refused. The rock got angry and caught Inkton'mi, holding him for four days. Inkton'mi vainly tried to free himself. At last he saw a flock of birds flying by. He begged them to help him. One of the birds said, "You have deceived all of us, I won't help you." Inkton'mi said, "If you aid me, I will give you my best-looking daughter." The birds then flew up to the sky and came down again as swiftly as possible, causing a wind to blow. The rock began to move a little. They repeated this four times. The last time the rock was shattered to pieces. Then Inkton'mi got up. "I have no daughter," he said. Then he walked off.


Inkton'mi met a black bear near a large rock. He erected a sweat-lodge and said he wanted to sweat with the bear. Then he built a big fire and put hot stones into the lodge. "You go in first, Bear." Bear went in. Inkton'mi stopped up all the openings. Then he placed large logs around the lodge to prevent Bear's escape. When the heat had become intense, the

4.2 Also heard by the writer among the Cree. Cf. Grinnell, (c), p 137 (Blackfoot).
5.3 Wissler and Duvall, p. 21 (Blackfoot).
6.1 Ft. Belknap. The central incident was recorded by Mr. Skinner among the Albany Cree.
7.1  Cf. Schoolcraft, p. 63 (Ojibwa); Hoffman, p. 165 (Menomini). Mr. Skinner has collected a similar tale among the Albany Cree.
8.2 Cf. Grinnell, (c), p. 147 (Blackfoot); J. 0. Dorsey (d), p. 78 (Omaha); Hoffman, p. 203; (Menomini)10.1  This story, as told by one informant, directly follows 7. For the incident of the rock pursuer or captor, cf. Russell, p. 210 (Cree); Wissler and Duvall, p. 24 (Blackfoot); Lowie, p. 264 (Shoshone); Kroeber, (e), p. 70 (Gros Ventre); Dorsey and Kroeber, p. 69 (Arapaho); G. A. Dorsey, (d), p. 143 (Arikara); Id., (a), p. 261 (Pawnee). The liberation by birds occurs in all these versions except that of the Shoshone.

Assiniboin Mythology

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Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History, 1909



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